ISKANDAR PUTERI, 20 January: Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB) today opened a Drone Test Site (DTS) here in Medini, the largest in Malaysia and South East Asia. The event was graced by YAB Dato’ Haji Hasni Mohammad, Menteri Besar Johor.
DRZ Iskandar aims to create a drone and robotics eco-system in Iskandar Puteri, which would become a growth engine, technology leader and talent hub for Malaysia and APAC. It is projected that DRZ Iskandar will bring in RM351mil investments and generate 1,000 high-value jobs by 2025 in drone and robotics. The development of the DTS will also spur the local economy, benefiting surrounding communities and entrepreneurs.
Johor Menteri Besar, YAB Dato’ Haji Hasni bin Mohammad, said “I am pleased that IIB has managed to strengthen Medini’s position as Johor’s Digital Hub with the opening of this Drone Test Site. The State Government welcomes all drone technology players in Malaysia and the region to set up their businesses here. It also gives me great pleasure to know that this initiative will attract emerging tech talents, gig economy workers and contribute towards new job creation for Johoreans.”
“IIB has spent close to RM4 million since the inception of DRZ Iskandar and the State of Johor has also allocated a sizeable budget for the development of the drone and robotics ecosystem. The State Government will continue to facilitate all related initiatives for DRZ Iskandar as we move forward with the State’s overall digital economy agenda” he added.
In his welcoming speech, President / Chief Executive Officer of IIB, YBhg Datuk Ir. Khairil Anwar Ahmad said, “IIB continues to be committed to driving the aspiration of the Government in the development of technology and digitalisation especially drone technology. We work closely with our major industry players, such as DHL Express which has played a significant role in developing the local drone community. In this regard, the opening of the DTS, which spans more than 1,700 acres in DRZ Iskandar, is one of the key elements in supporting the realisation of the Johor State digital economy agenda.”
Following the launch of DRZ Iskandar back in December 2020, the DTS located in Medini features two sites measuring approximately 25 acres (DTS 1) and 1,700 acres (DTS 2) respectively. DTS 1 caters for “visual line of sight” flights while “beyond visual line of sight” flights, the first of its kind in Malaysia, will be carried out in DTS 2.
Both DTS 1 and DTS 2 are the main components of DRZ Iskandar, recognised by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) as a National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS), an innovative sandbox with enhanced regulations which acts as a testbed for novice technology solutions to take off and fly. This supportive environment would not only fast-track the testing of locally developed drone powered solutions in the NTIS sandboxes but would also elevate Malaysia’s visibility in the regional and global drone tech industry.
The aim was to provide a safe and real environment for innovators to test, fly and learn and try out new ways for unmanned aircraft to be integrated into the skies. Together with the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), the data gathered by DTS would enable the enhancement of regulations towards the development of a robust drone ecosystem. With the opening of DTS, more test flights and Proof of Concepts (PoC) would be taking place at DRZ Iskandar.
DRZ Iskandar also welcomes Malaysia Debt Ventures (MDV), a company under the Ministry of Finance, Malaysia that provides innovative financing facilities and nurturing services to high growth sector companies as the funding partner for DRZ Iskandar. Already operating and having their presence here are Malaysia Sports Aviation Federation (MSAF), DHL Express, SG Akademi (M) Sdn. Bhd., Garuda Robotics (M) Sdn. Bhd., and Alphaswift Industries Sdn Bhd.